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Similar questions have been asked before, but they are generally old questions and I've not been able to find an answer.

I work at a large an engineering firm. Our engineers are heavy software users, but generally don't do any software development. We want to try and change this in order to optimise our work.

I find developing WPF applications to be quick, easy, fun and interactive using C# and Visual Studio. I believe if all staff had Visual Studio on their computers and were trained to develop desktop applications (we only use Windows) then a significant number would take advantage of this opportunity.

The cost of deploying Visual Studio on everyone's machine however is too high if most engineers are unlikely to use it.

Are there any more affordable alternatives?

We could use VSCode for example and develop console applications in various languages, however, because VSCode doesn't support desktop applications our observations are that our staff are less likely to use it.

Barrier to use is also important. If compiling code is a challenge, our users will just avoid it.

I had a go with VSCode a while back, and I couldn't get it to work. I had to install far too many extensions to compile code, all of which required admin passwords to do so so I gave up. With Visual Studio, I can write code, and just hit F5. Done. It needs to be this easy to stand a chance of people adopting it.

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